5. Disabling the Unaccelerated Framebuffer

If you start playing with the system now, you’ll quickly find that it feels very slow, particularly when output is scrolling on screen. That’s because Ubuntu is using something called a “framebuffer”, which allows it to display output suitable for all the different human languages that Ubuntu supports. In our case, we don’t need such enhanced support, and if it were to use the standard old VGA interface, it would be much faster, so we shall turn it off to get our performance back.

Edit, using sudo, the file /etc/default/grub, and uncomment the following line, removing the #:

GRUB_TERMINAL=console

Now, as root (using sudo), run the command update-grub in order to affect the change. This will prevent GRUB from trying to use a framebuffer but will not prevent Ubuntu from setting one up later. To prevent that, as root, add the following line to the end of the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf:

blacklist vga16fb

Note

In this case there is no command you need to run in order to affect the changes. This was not always the case in earlier versions of Ubuntu or Debian. Indeed, figuring out how to disable the framebuffer can be an exercise in frustration, as there have been many ways this could be done in the past, and many don’t work today.

Now reboot (sudo reboot) and when it comes back up, you should notice the window is slightly different shape, and when you run a command that produces a lot of output (such as dmesg to output the kernel logs), it should scroll very very quickly.